HOT 97 is a platform that strives for inclusivity and diversity. In this music column, some of the best international musicians that are impacting listeners here in the U.S will be highlighted each week.
Davido - TIMELESS
In November of last year, Davido, took a break from the public eye to deal with the tragic loss of his three-year-old son, Ifeanyi. After being away for almost six months, except for his 2022 FIFA World Cup closing ceremony performance, the Afrobeats superstar has released his highly anticipated fourth studio album, TIMELESS. The 17-track album features appearances from Morravey, Musa Keys, Dexta Daps, Fave, The Cavemen., Angélique Kidjo, Skepta, Asake, Logos Olori, and Focalistic.
TIMELESS is currently No. 2 on the U.S. Apple Music Top Albums chart, making it the highest charting album by a Nigerian artist in U.S. Apple Music history. It also peaked at No. 1 on Nigeria’s Apple Music Top Albums Chart, UK’s Apple Music Top Albums Chart, as well as in 17 other countries. The album explores a mixture of Afrobeats, Amapiano and dancehall.
“On the album, you will hear a couple of songs that might take you back and into some emotions... you will definitely hear me talk about a couple of things I’ve been through personally,” Davido told CNN in a recent interview. “At some point I couldn’t open my Instagram for weeks. One day, I just checked it and I saw messages from every kind of person in the world. I was like ‘you’re fine, you see everybody is rooting for you.’ That was one thing that really made me strong enough to stand up again, get back in the studio and do what I love.”
ROSALÍA and Rauw Alejandro - RR
Barcelonian superstar ROSALÍA and Puerto Rican reggaetón star Rauw Alejandro have joined forces on their their first-ever joint project, RR. The three-track EP, which consists of singles "BESO, "PROMESA," and "VAMPIROS," is a public and passionate declaration of love through techno and pop with reggaetón and latin music influences.
After almost four years of dating, the couple announced their engagement last Friday (March 24), the same day they released RR. ROSALÍA tearfully showcased her diamond ring at the end of the recently released music video for "BESO." The single is currently No. 4 on Spotify's Top 50 Global charts with over 4.5 million streams.
Kranium - "Mona Lisa"
Jamaican singer Kranium has blessed us with a new classic "Mona Lisa," which showcases his unique sound. The song, which was produced by STARS, Ovarich Kid, Johnny808, and 17TMI, is a follow-up to his 2022 EP, In Too Deep.
Coblaze - Orbit
Last Thursday (March 23), Nigerian R&B singer released his debut EP, Orbit. The six-track project includes his 2022 singles "Hallelu," and "Good Girl," alongside his 2021 "Come" and latest single "Lady Fiona," which features Nigerian DJ SPINALL. "Now I’ll be sharing this piece of me to you guys," Coblaze wrote in an Instagram post. "Thanks for loving me all the way."
You can watch the music video to "Lady Fiona" below.
Look out for more each week. What are your thoughts so far?